Feb. 15, 2014
Northwestern 3, Iowa 2
Big Ten Match Play Quarterfinal The Concession Golf Club Bradenton, Fla.
AJGA Live Scoring
BRADENTON, Fla. -- Northwestern defeated Iowa, 3-2, Saturday afternoon in the third-place match at the 2014 Big Ten Match Play Championships hosted at The Concession Golf Club.
NU's final two golfers out on the course, No. 2 Matthew Negri and No. 1 Jack Perry, earned early victories with big margins before redshirt sophomore Scott Smith, making his Match Play debut in the No. 5 content, clinched NU's win with a 1 up result with one match still on the course.
Northwestern finished the 2014 edition of the B1G Match Play with a 2-1 overall record after defeating Indiana in the quarterfinals and falling to Purdue in the semis.
The victory also gives Northwestern an 18-3 overall record at the Big Ten Match Play Championship in the six-year history of the event. NU won the title in 2010, 2011 and 2013. In 2009 and 2013, the Wildcats lost in the quarterfinals only to win every match thereafter for fifth-place finishes. This season, NU fell in the semis before capturing the third-place match.
Northwestern is quickly back in action Feb. 23-25 at the Puerto Rico Classic in Rio Grande, P.R.
Below is a match-by-match recount of Saturday afternoon's third-place tilt:
Match 1: Jack Perry (NU) def. Ian Vandersee (Iowa), 4 and 2
Perry played solidly throughout this matchup, gradually pulling away from Iowa's No. 1 player. The two traded wins at the first two holes before Perry started grinding out par after par after par. He won via pars at Nos. 5, 10 and 12 to build a 3 up advantage, went dormie 3 and then clinched his victory with a 14-foot birdie putt at No. 16.
Match 2: Matthew Negri (NU) def. Steven Ihm (Iowa), 5 and 3
Negri won the first hole of this match but gave that right back when he had to play from the hazard at No. 2. He steadied himself with wins at Nos. 3, 5 and 7 jump to 3 up in his match. Head coach Pat Goss tweeted that Negri then made quality short game shots at Nos. 8, 9 and 10 to remain 3 up, adding that his "shot at 9 was ridiculous. Saw 3 other players not keep on green - Negri tap-in."
With Negri's lead now 4 up through 13, he hit another "impressive short-sided, spinning bunker shit to halve 14" and move to dormie 4 before ending the matching immediately, 5 and 3 with a birdie at No. 15.
Ihm finally lowered Negri's lead a bit at No. 12 when he holed out for an eagle 2,
Match 3: Brian Bullington (Iowa) def. Josh Jamieson (NU), 2 and 1
Bullington drew first blood in this match with a winning par at No. 4 before Jamieson bit back with a par to level the match at the fifth. Bullington was able to make the turn with a 1 up advantage and brought that to 2 up after a winning par at No. 11, but Jamieson battled back right away with a birdie at the short 345-yard par-4 12th then squared the match with a bogey to win No. 13. Still all square after 15, Bullington pulled away to win the match, 2 and 1.
Match 4: Raymond Knoll (Iowa) def. Andrew Whalen (NU), 4 and 3
After winning his first two matches of the tournament emphatically, Whalen ran into trouble in the third-place match for Northwestern. Knoll captured three of the first four holes for Iowa until Whalen eventually brought it back to all square through seven. After the turn, Knoll won each of the first three holes on the back nine to take a commanding 3 up through 12 lead, eventually closing out the match, 4 and 3.
Match 5: Scott Smith (NU) def. Nate Yankovitch (Iowa), 1 up
Redshirt sophomore Smith made his Big Ten Match Play Championship debut for Northwestern in the third-place match and quickly built a 2 up lead through six holes. Smith's win at No. 6 was the first of six-straight holes in which he and Yankovitch alternated wins, with that streak ending on No. 11 when Yankovitch won to cut Smith's lead to 1 up. The Hawkeye then brought the match to all square with a birdie at the 190-yard par-3 14th hole.
Smith survived No. 15 with a bogey that won the hole before the competitors each finished out par-par-bogey to hand Smith a 1 up win in his Match Play debut. Smith's victory also was the clinching win in the match.
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